Some people think that you can actually spoil a baby! They think you're not supposed to pick up your baby every time it cries. Can you imagine thinking this way? Read my words "You can't spoil a baby!"
The only way a baby can communicate his needs to you is to cry. After all, he can't just say, "Mom, come change my diaper it is wet". If he could, he would not cry as much.
Believe me, babies don't think, "Let's aggravate mom and cry"! They don't have these skills for a few years.
Sometimes new young parents have all this advice thrown at them by relatives. The relatives tell them they are going to spoil the baby if they pick them up every time they cry. Well babies up to 6 months old need to be picked up every time they cry and many experts agree with this statement.
A Sample Scenario
There was a scenario that I read about years ago when my own child was a baby. It had one mother trying not to pick up her baby to console her. She tried to let her cry it out instead. In the end, she finally gave in and held the baby and the baby quieted.
On the other hand, a different mother picked her baby up immediately and held her until the baby quieted and went back to sleep. In the end, the second mother spent less than half the time solving her baby's problem.
Sense of Security
So listen up all you other moms out there, you can't spoil your baby by tending to his needs. Also, babies under 6 months need all the attention you can give them so that they can bond with you and feel secure. This feeling of security is extremely important. This actually builds the foundation for your relationship even at this young age.
Use Your Own Judgment
My friend, you know your baby better than anyone does. Take your cues from your heart not your relatives. Your heart will always tell you that your baby needs attention when they cry especially under 6 months old. You don't always have to hold and cuddle to quiet baby, sometimes he just needs changing. But with adding the hug and cuddle, you show him that mom will always come through and that is what he needs to learn.
After the 6-Month Mark
When your sweet baby turns 6 months old then you can observe the times he cries. If he is just having a fit over a toy he can't get to work right, you may hold off for a minute or two. This will allow him time to possibly solve his own problem. If he continues to cry, then step in and caress him and reassure him.
But until 6 months old, they cannot begin to learn. They just know they need help when they cry. The older they get the more you can delay response but only for a brief time. You always want to make sure they are safe though. You can approach, observe, and then hold if necessary.
When your baby gets to be older, he will then learn how to play you for what he wants. But this doesn't happen until he is about 4 or 5 years of age. So gradually increase discipline and teaching along the way. But only as you know your child can understand what you're trying to teach him. As a baby, lighten up.
So now that you know you don't have to worry about spoiling your baby, here are some tips how to react to a crying baby:
1. Go find out why your baby is crying.
2. Solve the problem whether it is changing a diaper, feeding, or just holding.
3. Hold and reassure your baby until he quiets down.
4. Then you can try putting him down.
So listen to your heart and tend your baby. You are not going to spoil him no matter what. Babies can't be spoiled. Only older children can be spoiled. So relax and enjoy your baby!